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All About Earl Grey

About Tea
All About Earl Grey

Sophisticated and distinguished, Earl Grey has been one of the world’s most revered tea blends since Twinings began selling it in 1831. If you’ve never tried it, think bright, citrusy and floral, with a smooth finish.

Earl Grey has a hugely loyal following, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a romanticism about it and, indeed, one of its enduring traits is the air of mystery surrounding its creation. Where did it come from? Who first made it? Who was Earl Grey? Let’s find out


Who is Earl Grey?

The story goes that, during a diplomatic mission to China, one of Prime Minister Charles Grey’s British envoys heroically saved the life of a Chinese mandarin (a minister of the Empire or “scholar-official”). To show their gratitude, the mandarin gave the envoy the gift of tea, along with the recipe to reproduce it (which was usually a well-guarded secret). Upon his return to England, the envoy presented the tea to Grey.

This new tea became so popular with Grey and his associates that, in 1831, he asked Twinings to reproduce it for others to enjoy.  The blend became known as Earl Grey, named after Prime Minister Charles Grey II.


What is bergamot?

Oil of bergamot is added to black tea to create the distinct Earl Grey flavour, but what is bergamot?
Bergamot Orange AKA Citrus Bergamia is a citrus fruit like oranges, lemons and limes. Native to the Mediterranean, it’s one of the most versatile and distinct citrus fruits thanks to its complex flavour profile. One piece of fruit offers flavours of lemon, orange blossom, and floral notes of rose and lavender.
The rind is cold pressed to extract its essential oils, which we use to create that unmistakable Earl Grey taste.


What’s the difference between Earl Grey, Lady Grey and French Earl Grey?

Earl Grey
The original blend. Light and aromatic, with a citrusy twist.

Lady Grey
A more delicate version, with just a hint of bergamot. The addition of Lemon & Orange peel gives a soft, rounded citrus character.

French Earl Grey
Slightly sweeter, with notes of vanilla, rose petals and lavender.